Reading does not currently have a biodiversity action plan (BAP). The 2005-15 plan has expired but the Reading Borough Council (RBC) Strategic Environment, Planning and Transport Committee may approve a new one for public consultation tonight, 16 March. The illustrated document is a fascinating overview of Reading’s natural environment.
The document was first discussed at RBC’s Housing, Neighbourhoods and Leisure Committee on 11 March. Lead councillor for heritage, culture & recreation Karen Rowland said that she was very proud that the 70 page document had been produced with the co-operation of many local environmental organisations alongside RBC.
Katesgrove councillor and lead for neighbourhoods & communities Sophia James said that it was a real privilege to live in Katesgrove, five minutes away from the Kennet and never far away from biodiversity.
Councillor Meri O’Connell gave an enthusiastic reception to the maps of habitat types and designated sites, of priority habitats and ancient woodland, of rivers, woodland ownership, geology and national character areas.
The BAP is structured on themes for actions that can be measured and monitored:
- designated sites,
- planning and building control,
- woodlands, trees and hedgerows,
- grasslands and road verges,
- the two rivers, their floodplains and other watercourses,
- management of council projects and the sale of land,
- education, access to nature, public engagement and volunteering,
- ecological records,
- species and habitat specific actions,
- co-ordinated approach across council departments and within policy documents,
- global biodiversity – what can the council do?
- ongoing review.
The action plan includes a list of rare and notable animal and vegetable species recorded by the Thames Valley Environmental Records Centre.
The consultation is expected to take place between 20 March and 24 April for adoption in May 2020.